Banking and mobile payments have simplified the process of paying, shopping, and saving money. All of these things can be done now from anywhere in the country, so our lives have become much much easier.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals avoided physical contact, increasing the use of digital payments. People have been forced to learn online banking and go cashless as a result. Paying bills online has made it easier for one to do so from home, but online fraud has increased as well, especially to target those who are totally new to these technologies.

In two separate incidents, a dentist and the owner of a pathology lab fell victim to cybercriminals who posed as patients and duped them out of Rs 20,000 in one incident and Rs 25,000 in the other.

In a complaint she submitted to the West Division cyber crime police, Nagajyothi said that she received a call seeking an online consultation from the accused. The man, posing as Praveen Kumar from J.P. Nagar, stated he wanted a dental implant for his father and asked how much it would cost.

According to Dr. Nagajyothi, she would consult with the patient and examine him physically before making any decisions. The accused emailed a picture of the patient to her.

After discovering the charge, the accused sent her Rs 2 on Google Pay, asking her to accept a link that would let him send the fee in advance. As soon as she accepted the link, Rs 20,000 was deducted from her account, and the accused was no longer reachable.

Similarly, a conman pretending to be an Army officer contacted Manasa H.P., the owner of a pathology lab in Rajajinagar, and asked for an invoice.

Immediately after Dr. Manasa shared the details, he sent her a link as payment, asking her to accept it. Within seconds of accepting the link, she saw that 25,000 had been deducted from her account. As a result of her complaint, the North Division cyber crime police have taken up the case and are investigating.

Also Check: Scammers stole Rs 52,000 from a man's PhonePe wallet.

How to stay safe from this fraud?

1. In cases where the customer is very eager to pay a large amount for the product, you have to remain alert. Customers typically wait until the product or service is delivered before making a payment.

2. Please do not share the OTP or any personal banking information with anyone. OTPs are sent only when you transfer money from your bank account, not when you receive money from someone.

3. Using a digital escrow platform is recommended for making or receiving payments. With Escrow, you do not need to share any of your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.

How does digital escrow work?

In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller fulfills the terms of the contract. The escrow company supervises the transacting parties.

What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India? 

Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process. 

There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free. If you ever come across a fraudster asking for OTP, asking you to scan a QR code, or asking you to click on phishing links, you can simply refuse and ask him/her to proceed with the transaction through Vouch.

This is Fraud Story #142. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!

Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about avoiding frauds like these and how to act when you're becoming a victim of such a situation. 

Do you have a fraud you would like to report? Please write to us at